Author: Jeff Barnes

The “New” Angel Investors Network

Since 1997 our clients have secured more than $200 million in funding for their ventures. Many of these companies have gone public and made small fortunes for both the investors and the entrepreneurs.

During that time we’ve learned what it takes to help companies successfully scale their sales and profits, and make their investors happy in the process. Now, we are expanding our offerings to even more entrepreneurs and investors with our expanded list of services and programs.

Read the Details Below, or Watch This Overview From Me!

Here’s a brief history of what we’ve done since 1997:

  • First online, nationwide angel investors group founded in 1997
  • First to use digital media (video, audio, etc.) to broadcast information worldwide about investing in private ventures
  • Pioneers in helping entrepreneurs build websites to attract investors
  • First to publish a book on how entrepreneurs can leverage crowd funding to capitalize their business
  • First to publish a book on how investors can use their 401(k) plans to invest in small private ventures
  • Created Pitch Tank in 2016 to help more entrepreneurs and investors experience what it’s like to be on Shark Tank on both sides of the aisle
  • Our digital marketing courses have helped entrepreneurs generate tens of millions in online sales through their marketing systems
  • We’ve invested in and acquired minority stakes in several businesses, some generating over $150k per day in online revenue
  • Consulted with and coached over 1,000 entrepreneurs on sales, marketing, capital structure, and business development
  • Hosted over 10,000 investors at our events
  • And much more!

Now, in 2019 we are going to blow you and all of our members away with all of the additional value we have to offer!

With our expanded team and services, we can provide even more to our clients and help even more companies and investors succeed.

Here’s just a brief list of what we are bringing out:

  • Our Inner Circle, designed to educate and assist entrepreneurs and investors succeed in private ventures with a monthly newsletter and biweekly training webinars
  • A virtual coaching program for entrepreneurs who need help with raising capital and scaling their sales and marketing systems
  • A “Platinum” Investor Council and mastermind to help multi-million dollar business executives, entrepreneurs, founders, and owners build world-class businesses
  • A partnership with one of the largest Executive and Entrepreneurial organizations on the planet!
  • A new venture fund to help investors diversify their portfolio and entrepreneurs to get the capital they need
  • Even more Pitch Tank events each year
  • An opportunity for you to become a franchise owner in Angel Investors Network.
  • And a single opportunity left for an incredibly enthusiastic investor to join our team!
  • And even more on the way!

Want all of the details? Watch this video from me that will go into why I am so excited for our future!

If you’re an investor or successful business owner looking to expand your net worth, please complete this short form and send it over to us to let us know how we can help you even more!

What We Learned from $1 Million in Ad Spend in One Month!

We spent over $1 Million in January…here’s what we learned.

In January we spent over $1 Million on Facebook ads in one of our businesses…

But don’t worry… I don’t expect you to believe me without proof…

Here’s the Amex statement for January…

And if you still don’t believe me or think I made this image up, then feel free to close the page, never return, and forget we exist…no offense taken.

I mean seriously, if you had told me one year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I’d be doing $1 Million in advertising in one month!

But advertising, marketing and sales is really what makes a business grow. So if you aren’t willing to spend time and money on marketing, you aren’t really expecting to grow your business.

(Visit to get your free business evaluation today)

Now, I’ve run multi-million dollar organizations before, but they were all someone else’s, so I wasn’t involved in every aspect of the business.

With this business I’ve been very involved in everything.

Now, in full disclosure, this is an eCommerce business selling products online all over the world…

Not a coaching business, info business, or service business, but real products to real people.

During that time we did over $2.4 Million in sales, so our marketing cost was about 42% of sales.

Again, I don’t expect you to believe me (and honestly don’t care if you do), but here’s the Shopify dashboard just in case:

Okay, so I’m assuming if you’re still reading then you are at least somewhat curious what we did, how we did it, and what we learned, right?

Well what we did was simple:

  1. Find great products people really want
  2. Create engaging advertising that will entice people to buy
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
  4. Sell the product
  5. Deliver our product to the customer and keep them happy!

How we did it is simple as well:

  1. We ran video ads on Facebook
  2. Retargeted customers who went to our site
  3. Created email follow up campaigns
  4. Optimized everything
  5. Rinsed and repeated…

Now, the important part you need to know are the lessons learned. If you are looking to scale a business, then these lessons will serve you very well.

I’ve run everything from a one-man shop, to a small healthcare practice, to a large division in a billion dollar company, and I can tell you these lessons serve well for all different size businesses.

(Want a free business evaluation? Head over to

Major Lessons Learned

  1. Communicate with Your Customers!
    I can’t stress this one enough. No matter how great your product is, how loveable you might be, or how incredibly popular your brand, poor communication can kill your chances of success at any stage!Have you ever placed an order at a restaurant and the food came out all wrong? How did you feel when you got your order? Like they didn’t care and didn’t listen, right?Well it doesn’t matter if you’re a solo-operator or a billion-dollar brand…If your customers don’t feel they are being heard, they will turn on you. This means checking in on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, google reviews, Yelp, your website – anywhere and everywhere your customers are looking for answers! We even had someone report our business to the Better Business Bureau because they thought we were a fraud…turns out that our email was in their spam box, so even when you do try to communicate it can backfire. Luckily we did follow up and communicated even more after receiving the notice, so the dispute was dropped.
  2. Never Rely on One Avenue for Customers
    This is not a new lesson, and one that you wouldn’t think needs to be stated, but it’s true:If you are relying on one media source for your customers to find you, you are dooming yourself from the start!We relied heavily on Facebook, and at one point we were doing over $50k per day in ad spend on that site. Well, one of our ads was deemed in violation of their guidelines, and as a result the entire business manager was shut down! 😡😡😡Imagine having a blazing fire keeping you warm in the midst of a blizzard and all of a sudden your fuel supply is stolen! Not a good place to be.This brings me to number three…
  3. Always Have a Backup Plan
    We knew that this was a possibility, so we had several business managers with several logins, and several credit cards just in case one of these was shut down. We ended up needing all of them, and we kept having to resolve disputes and errors to ensure that the business stayed open.We call these redundancies, and you need them for your advertising, your fulfillment, your databases, computer systems, suppliers…anything and everything that you rely on to run a business. If you have just one of anything that is critical to running your business, you are asking for problems.
  4. Build a Strong Foundation Before You Build the Walls!
    Ever seen a house built? Did they start with the ceiling first, or the foundation?Stupid question, right? Well unfortunately most people build their businesses using the wrong sequence. There’s a fine line you have to walk when building a business, and there’s always a Catch-22 you need to be aware of:Your business can only scale as fast as you can deliver on your sales promises!When you sell something, you are under a legal, ethical, and moral obligation to provide that thing or service to your customer in the way they expect to receive it! This is critical…If you aren’t ready to fulfill on your promises (i.e. deliver the product, complete the service, etc.), then you should not be selling it! This is different than “sell it before it’s ready”, which is what we coach entrepreneurs to do…I mean that if you can’t feasibly fulfill your orders in a reasonable time, or have no way to catch up if you catch a massive wave, then you shouldn’t be selling it!The foundation of a business is the ability to deliver to the customer what you promised. This is the operations-end of the business. Not sexy or fun, but vital to lasting success and continued growth.
  5. Know Your Numbers!
    It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of selling your products or services, but don’t ever take your eye off the bottom line!For example, we were selling thousands of products daily around the world (God bless the internet!), and we had to know which products we could buy, sell, and ship profitably…Not on a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly basis, but ON A DAILY BASIS!Imagine spending $50k per day on ads, another $50k per day on products and fulfillment, and then only making $75k per day in sales…How long would it take to go out of business? Maybe a day or two for some, a week or two for others, right?Don’t be fooled by big businesses with billion-dollar top line revenues, wishing you could be like them…Many of them are losing money by the fistful day in and day out because they aren’t accounting for their business properly.If you run a business, you need to know both the static fixed costs, as well as the variable costs that eat away at your profit. And anything is better than nothing…we had to estimate shipping, merchant fees, chargebacks, and refunds until we had a track record we could rely upon…

    And we simply used a Google Sheet to track it! You don’t need to be overly sophisticated to know your numbers, but you must know your numbers! We had to shut off ads and products within hours of turning them on, but wouldn’t have been able to without knowing our numbers.

Shoring Up Your Business

Running a business is hard enough, but scaling a business significantly is a real challenge. There are so many little things that can go wrong and eat your lunch.

We don’t want that to happen to you, and if you’d like to someday be doing over $1 Million per month in sales (let alone advertising), then you need to really focus on shoring up your business.

This is the SSOS of running and growing a business…

  • Structure your business properly with the right tools, technology, and people.
  • Systemize your business using automation where possible and standard operating procedures everywhere!
  • Optimize everything from your sales and marketing, to your people and processes on a regular basis.
  • Scale your business only after you know the wheels won’t fall off the bus as you speed up.

If you want to learn how you can build and scale your business the right way, then head over to to receive a free business evaluation and determine the red flags in your business!

Is Making the Leap Really that Scary?

Becoming an entrepreneur is perceived to be one of the hardest things most people do in their lives.

I say perceived to be because it really isn’t as harrowing as most people make it out to be.

When I was in the Navy, our boat was designed to sink…

I was a submariner after all.

But on one occasion our boat was actually sinking when we didn’t want it to! Systems were going haywire and someone had messed up…big time!

The lives of 130 crewmen were at stake, and it was up to our team to fix the situation fast!

We managed to get propulsion back and force the boat back to the surface where we all breathed in a huge sigh of relief, but there were a few moments when we weren’t sure if we’d make it.

Now, that’s a truly scary thought…sinking in the middle of the ocean in a giant black steel tube filled with a nuclear reactor an missiles…

But the thought of becoming an entrepreneur was even scarier to me!

At least in the Navy they had trained us to handle situations like that.

In the “civilian” world, there is no real training for becoming an entrepreneur. Everyone’s journey is a little different, but no less scary.

When I first attempted to make that leap, I was still in the Navy.

It didn’t turn out as expected…

In fact, it bruised my ego so bad that it took years to recover and try again. That’s a story for another day.

But here’s the thing…

You’ve probably been through some tough times in your life.

Maybe you’ve had a few near misses or close calls, or even a dance with death…

Whatever the case is, you’re still here. You survived!

And the fact is that making that leap to becoming an entrepreneur isn’t going to hold a candle to the challenges you’ve faced in your life.

More than anything, it’s the idea of becoming an entrepreneur that is scary…

Not the day to day act of starting or running a business.

That parts actually pretty boring…

Just like life on a submarine. Boring most of the time with some incredibly exciting moments scattered throughout!

If you’re just getting started or you’ve been around for a while, you’re in the right place.

Our goal at Angel Investors Network is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be faster.

Just stick around, and keep sticking your neck out there…

Good things are bound to happen as long as you keep at it!

To Your Freedom!

Jeff Barnes

The Number One Deal Killer [Video]

Do you want to know what the biggest mistake is for any entrepreneur who is looking to raise capital?

Watch and find out!



The 3 P’s For Productivity

As entrepreneurs, we strive to do our best every day. Our goal is simple: Show up, be authentic, and get the most out of the time we have. We call this being productive.

Living this way isn’t about just doing more and going faster. Instead, what is important, is the mindset and habits it takes to achieve the success we desire.

In this post, I detail three tactics to improve your productivity. As you read each one, consider how it will also benefit the people around you – your employees, co-workers, friends and family — people who may mimic your behaviors.

Pace yourself.

Here’s the secret to pacing yourself: Think, reflect, manage, then do.

As you think, ask yourself what you want to be known for. Keeping this question at the forefront of your mind at all times will give you the momentum you need to dig deep, and ultimately reach your goals while staying in tune with the kind of person you desire to be.

The next step is to reflect. This is a time of waiting and discerning the specifics. Make sure you know where you are headed. Have you put your plan on paper? Are your goals manageable and realistic?

As you begin to process all the steps ahead, don’t be afraid to break them up into smaller more manageable projects. By creating sub-projects with your end goal in mind, you are setting yourself up to enjoy the small victories along the way. These moments sustain your momentum as you continue moving forward.

Don’t burn yourself out by overwhelming yourself from the start. Give yourself the gift of taking your time to patiently walk, step-by-step, toward you goals.

Partner up.

Mentorship is one of the most important aspects of professional and personal development. Another way to think about a mentor is to think of them as your own personal productivity partner.

Make a list of three to five people in your life who have positively influenced you. What was it about them that you admired? Would you be willing to reach out to one of these people, and invite them into your life as a mentor or as your own productivity partner?

Productivity partners can help us build resilience, offer us time management and productivity tips, encourage us as we build our networks, and lead us into a new chapter of our lives. Identifying these people and nurturing these relationships will not only increase your productivity but it will also set you up for success in a way you never thought possible.

Project your future.

It is important to not only know what you are doing but also where you are headed. While you work toward your goals, never stop learning and growing. Research local conferences. Reach out to speakers coming to your area. Or sign up for a webinar. Not only will this expand your knowledge but it will also widen your network, and keep you at your best.

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. No more. No less. How we choose to use those 1,440 minutes directly affects our productivity. Keep your projected future in mind, and use those minutes to create the best version of yourself possible.

By incorporating these productivity practices into your everyday life, you will be amazed by the difference they will make. Take each day for the gift that it is. Remember to pace yourself, build your network, and always keep your future in mind. And that’s how you’ll get the most out of those 1,440 minutes.

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